The decision to exclude the Anglican Church of Canada from two Anglican Consultative committees on which it does not sit is regrettable in principle but will have no practical effect, says Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Canadian church.
"We do regret the decision, although we note it was adopted by an extremely narrow margin," Archbishop Hutchison said. "Had out members and our American colleagues been allowed their vote, it would have failed. We regret that the Anglican Consultative Council made such a decision in a forum in which we are not being allowed to participate an in which we have no voice. There is, after all, a pretty fundamental democratic principle that says that when decisions are made that affect you, you are allowed to speak to them".
Archbishop Hutchison added: "Our hope is that the discussions and debates of the past few days will provide impetus for the discussion about homosexuality and the role of gays and lesbians in the church to begin in those parts of the Anglican Communion where they have not yet begun."
The Consultative Council approved a motion affirming a request made by the Primates of the Anglican Communion last February  that the Canadian and U.S. churches "voluntarily withdraw" their members from the meeting now underway.
The affirming motion stipulated, however, that the Primates' request that the Canadian and U.S. churches withdraw from the ACC should be interpreted as including participation on the standing committee, which meets between triennial sessions of the full council, and inter-Anglican finance and administration committee.
Neither Canada nor the United States have members on those two committees and since their members at this meeting are not participants, they are not eligible for election.
Earlier in the meeting, in response to another request made by the Primates, representatives of the Canadian church made a presentation explaining where it is on the controversial issue of blessing same-sex unions. The U.S. church made a similar presentation explaining how it came to consecrate an openly gay man as bishop.
Archbishop Hutchison, who is scheduled to return to Canada today, said he would be making a full report to the Canadian Church in a statement that will be issued early next week.
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"An attempt to eject Anglicans from the US and Canada from all meetings of the Anglican Communion for the next three years was narrowly defeated on Wednesday". "The ACC [Anglican Consultative Council] delegates went into a closed session on Wednesday afternoon, which stretched an hour over time. Eventually it emerged that they had held a secret ballot about the clause. It was rejected by 30 votes to 28, with four abstentions". "The original resolution had been proposed by Stanley Isaacs (South East Asia), and supported by representatives from several other African provinces, among them the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria. The only English supporter was Elizabeth Paver". "The other significant vote on Wednesday was to change the ACC constitution to include the 37 Primates as ex-officio members. The move will increasing the member from 70 to 115, and tip the balance heavily towards ordained members".
"Member provinces and churches of the Anglican Communion are not likely to approve a motion that would allow 38 primates around the world to become members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), according to Bishop John Paterson, chair and bishop of Auckland". Bishop Paterson, who attend the 17-20 November 2005 meeting of the Anglican Church of Canada's Council of General Synod, "said there are two views regarding the inclusion of primates. `The feeling was that if we brought them into the body where there is ... the only option for lay voices to be heard, that that would be better than allowing them to continue to act independently meeting on their own,' he said. `The other view, which is gaining ascendancy, is the fear that clergy and lay people in the ACC would look to the primate to give them a lead as to how to decide to vote on any particular issue and that would therefore destroy the importance of the ACC as a really consultative body, where the voices of those other than bishops are valued, followed and listened to."
Author is staff writer for Anglican Journal, Anglican Church of Canada.
"Chris Ambidge, spokesperson for the Anglican gay advocacy group Integrity Canada, said he was 'disappointed, but not at all surprised,' by the decision made by a majority of primates to censure The Episcopal Church (TEC) for its approval of same-sex marriage. 'This is exactly congruent with the way that the Communion as a whole has been behaving towards LGBT people, and towards churches that support them, since at least Lambeth 1998', he said .... Ambidge, himself a member of the Anglican Church of Canada's General Synod, said he had a 'horrible feeling' the measures announced against TEC would make the passage of changes to the Anglican Church of Canada's marriage canon this summer less likely, 'There may well be, I can hear it now: "Well, we shouldn't do anything, because it might jeopardize our position in the Anglican Communion -- look what happened to The Episcopal Church". That will get said, I am sure', he said".
"A 20:20 task force to aid recruiting and education [of] evangelists has been requested by the General Convention ... in Denver in July 2000. The goal is to double the baptized membership in the church by the year 2020. An important aspect of the programme will be the establishment [of the] `Alleluia Fund : Build My Church' to help in church planting and assisting existing needy congregations." "The largest single part of the national program budget (approximately 25 % of the $138 million triennial total) is designated for mission partnerships throughout the Communion. This includes $250,00 for a new Episcopal Service Corps, geared to young adults, which will be administered through the Mission Personnel office of Anglican and Global Relations".
Bishop Chiwanga, Bishop of Mpwapwa in Tanzania, and Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, addressed General Convention. He praised the Episcopal Church for its "overwhelming" generosity and willingness to share evidenced in the work of the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief, the United Thank Offering, Trinity Parish Wall Street and many others. He also honoured the Episcopal Church for its struggles "for being a champion in striking, beating a new path, pushing the frontiers of the mission and ministry of the Church".
"This brochure is a part of 'The Vestry Resource Guide' a publication of The Cornerstone Project a ministry of The Episcopal Church Foundation".
"Additional copies of this brochure can be obtained by contacting Forward Movement Publications at 800-543-1813".
"The Episcopal Church is that community of Christians who trace their roots to English settlers who arrived in American and founded Church of England congregations. The Protestant Episcopal Church was organized after the War of Independence". -- p. . "The Episcopal Church is one of the 28 independent, self-governing, national, and regional Churches which make up the Anglican Communion". -- p. .
Contents: Origins of the Episcopal Church -- The Structure of the Episcopal Church -- Relationship with the Anglican Communion -- In Relationship with Others -- Building Relationships.
"Current debates over a host of issues, particularly those relating to homosexuality, have left the Anglican Communion straining to understand what it means to be a communion -- and even wondering whether life as a communion is possible. In this timely book two priest scholars ... examine tthe future of the concept of 'communion' as a viable church structure, tracing its historical development as a self-consciously Anglican third way between Protestant congregationalism and Catholic centralism. In examining this essential issue, Radner and Turner relate the specific challenges of the U.S. Episcopal Church to the unity of the worldwide communion, touching on such divisive subjects as the place of Scripture, liberal theology, and episcopal authority." -- inside front cover.
"This volume is the result of a decade of collaborative effort by a group of scholars both in the United States and the United Kingdom meeting under the auspices of the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI). The conversations we have had with the various members of this group have contributed in essential ways to both the content and tone of these essays". "The essays collected here are a representative sample of essays written during the past five years by two people who have been part of this group. Each essay seeks to display the calling and nature of the church within a global setting". -- Acknowledgements, p. xii.
Contents divided into four sections: The Challenge of the Present Moment -- Questions of Authority -- Questions of Communion -- The Future of Communion.
Contents: Foreword / Stanlet Hauerwas -- Introduction: Unity, Obedience, and the Shape of Communion -- The End of a Church and the Triumph of Denominationalism: On How to Think About What is Happening in the Episcopal Church -- Children of Cain: The Oxymoron of American Catholicism -- Apprehending the Truth: Anglican Conservatism and Common Discernment -- The Scriptural Community: Authority in Anglicanism -- Diversity and Integrity: The Challenges of Life Together -- The Virginia Report: How Firm a Foundation ? -- The Windsor Report: A Defining Moment for a Worldwide Communion -- Conciliarity and the American Evasion of Communion -- ECUSA's God and the Idols of American Protestantism -- The Humiliation of Anglicanism and Christian Life -- Conclusion: The World is Waiting for Holiness -- Index.